Mental Health Basics
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates among American Indians have increased since 2003. Suicide rates disproportionately affect American Indians; in 2015, the rate of suicides among American Indians was 3.5 times higher than other ethnic/racial groups with the lowest rates.
What is mental health?
Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being make up our mental health. Our mental health can affect how we think, feel, and act. It can even determine how we deal with stress, related to others, and make healthy choices. From childhood, adolescence, and through adulthood mental health is important at every stage of life.
Why is mental health important for your overall health?
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. They are both equally important components of health. For example, a person experiencing depression is at an increased risk for many types of physical health problems - usually chronic or long-lasting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Physical chronic conditions can also increase the risk for mental illness.
Can your mental health change over time?
Yes, a person's mental health can change over time, due to many factors. A person's mental health can be impacted when the demands placed on that person exceed their resources and coping skills. For example, a person working long hours, experiencing economic hardship, or caring for a relative may experience poor mental health.
How common are mental illnesses?
In the United States, mental illness is one of the most common health conditions.
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
- 1 in 5 children, currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
- More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
- 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
What causes mental illnesses?
There is no one cause for mental illness or poor mental health. There are a number of factors that may increase the risk for mental illness, such as:
- Trauma or a history of abuse, adverse life experiences for example generational trauma, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.
- Experiences caused by or related to other chronic medical conditions, like cancer or diabetes
- Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
- Use of drugs or alcohol
- Having feelings of loneliness or isolation
Information about mental health was gathered from the CDC.
We support our relatives' behavioral health.
Behavioral Health Programs
Connecting With Our Youth (CWOY) is a values-based initiative to reduce the rate of suicide for Native American youth in the He Sapa catchment area. CWOY is informed by Lakota culture values of caring and compassion for all (Waúŋšila) and youth are sacred (Wakȟáŋyeža) to strengthen connections between American Indian youth and their culture.
The Community Support Groups, offered by OHC at the Lacrosse location, serve as training for friends and family members concerned about loved ones who live with a substance use disorder. The program is based on the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) model, a highly effective, evidence-based, motivational program that impacts communities and families in multiple areas of their lives.